Friday, 23 July 2010

one gear engines

Quite a while ago (over 10 years) I heard of a formula 1 car with only 1 gear, which changed its ratio without needing another gear. I've heard nothing since yet I think it revolutionary. I would like to develop the idea.

Doh! Just read up on it. It's called Continuously Variable Transmission - CVT. Conceptualised in the 1440's by Leonardo da Vinci!!! Used in the 1930's. Drawbacks are that they transmit power through friction and so cannot handle infinite torque.

On the wiki page there is also a link to a page which has newer information about a D-Drive which doesn't use friction but uses gears utilising planetary epicycle. Here's a youtube video about it, and the webpage I found about it -

It seems to work very well.  A small drawback is the fact you need to have another engine rotating two shafts to control which ratio you want. Very, very interesting concept, although I think I would like a system where you pull a lever and it changes the ratio (using my own power).

There is room here for a new invention!! Although it'd have to be clever!!

Yay! Just found out about it here. Apparently in 1993 Williams F1 team developed it and made the test car seconds faster in a lap. But it was banned by the FIA. Have to use between 4 and 7 gears!

Another interesting youtube video is a guy who's made a planetary gear system (or cyclic) from technics lego stuff -

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Putting photos in access records

So, I'm doing the staff photo boards for the whole college, and being as it is so large I'm going to be efficient and use a database. The first step of creating a database and putting all people in it, with the time and date of every photo taken down, so we know which photo is for which person.

Embedding the photos is not practical because apparently it converts them to bmp files which takes up a lot of disk space. So linking is the way to go. It means I'll have to have a folder for each photo shoot, which is always next to the database.

I found a nice little article which looks very simples. Basically, drag the photo into the field, then if you want to display it in a form you put:

on your form, create an Image object, and in Form_Current() place something like: Me![ImageFrame].Picture = Me![fImagePath]

2 hours later....

Tried this on a test database and it was a success. Wasn't quite sure what he meant by "image object" or "Form_Current" and the rest of it, so with a little bit of trial and error I succeeded! So here's what to do:

  1. Make a text field in the table where you put the location of the picture - i.e. c:\pictures\my picture.jpg
  2. Next make a report based on the table. I used the wizard, added the fields I wanted and went into design view.
  3. In the Detail section (middle bit) is where the data gets displayed. Along with the description, I put an "Image Box" found in the Controls section in the toolbars.
  4. It will want you to specify an image, just click "cancel"
  5. Click on the image container and on the right, you want to edit the "Control Source"
  6. I think I just selected the field with the photo location data in. Although I do remember putting:
    1. Me![ImageFrame].Picture = Me![Photo Location] - but I'm not entirely sure? Photo Location was the field I created in the table

Just got to work out how to tile it horizontally and vertically on a page.

Also, by default it "zooms" the image, so that it fits inside the box (no stretching). If you click on the image and set the format "Size Mode" to clip, it crops the image!! Yes!       - No!, on second thoughts it puts the image up at the size the image specifies if you go on zoom and crops almost all the large images. So I put it on zoom and put no border and seethrough background. Just have to make sure all the images are the same size.

Monday, 5 July 2010

personal website design

A thought occurred to me about my own personal website design. I thought I could have everything I've made tiled in the background of the website. When you click on any of it, it would enlarge and play (if it was a video) with information about that piece. A lot like Johns website, but with the stuff in the background and with videos playing in the background.

I could even convert the videos to flash, but only small versions, and have them playing in a loop in the background, bringing the page to life. This could also be styled with CSS I think.